This industry veteran says blockchain is the future of gaming

DISCLAIMER: This is a guest post by Gameflip The information provided in this post is the responsibility of the writer.

For Gameflip’s CEO JT Nguyen, a decentralized digital goods economy is the key to innovation (and growth)

When I started out in the gaming industry 10 years ago, digital gaming was just beginning to catch fire. Since then, we’ve seen the “free to play” model explode. Although this model has given gamers around the world unprecedented access to a wide range of titles, it’s also created key challenges. The issue that I’m most concerned with? The peer-to-peer sale of digital goods (or lack thereof).

Luckily, we’re on the cusp of a game-changing transformation that has the potential to disrupt the gaming industry as we know it. Here’s why industry veterans, including myself, see blockchain as the future of gaming—and why this technology is key to creating safe, effective digital goods marketplaces.


Blockchain is already transforming the industry

In conversations about blockchain and gaming, the title that immediately comes to mind is probably Spells of Genesis. The digital card game, one of the first to feature the blockchain both in functionality and story, uses tokenized trading cards that gamers can essentially store on the blockchain. But game developers have since found new ways to use blockchain, and nowhere is it more clear than in the esports and betting segments.

Unikrn is a prime example. The high-tech esports betting platform created its first token, the Unikoin, two years ago. Now, it’s launching an Initial Coin Offering for its UnikoinGold—an Ethereum-based digital coin that will be the exclusive token used on its new betting platform. With high-profile backers like Mark Cuban and Ethereum founder Anthony Diiorio, it’s no surprise that other esports platforms are launching, and regularly accepting, digital tokens.

On Gameflip, our VC-backed digital goods marketplace, our gamer community regularly uses Bitcoin to make purchases. This is also the case on the other major digital goods platforms. In a world where more industries are starting to embrace cryptocurrency, gaming was an undeniable early adopter. We’re seeing the signs everywhere—from trustless betting to game monetization.


Blockchain represents a win-win for publishers and gamers

My key interest in blockchain is how it can facilitate the safe, cross-game selling of in-game goods. This has been a point of contention for gamers almost since digital games started becoming the industry norm. Why, they ask, are my hard-earned digital goods worth nothing once I switch games?

As COO of global publisher Aeria Games, I experienced this issue firsthand. Our gamers would spend countless time and money obtaining digital goods. However, lacking a better option, they often turned to forums like Reddit to sell their items for cash. Most of these transactions ended in scams, which was bad for the gamers and for us. We weren’t able to prevent this fraud because sales happened outside our platform, and these scams caused many of our best players to leave the game.

After successfully growing Aeria Games, I moved on to my next (and current) venture: Gameflip, a comprehensive digital goods marketplace. Now, with a thriving community of 2 million gamers and 500,000 active users, my team and I are finally in a position to solve the digital goods issue–and in a way that nobody has ventured before: by partnering with game publishers and moving them to the blockchain.

Like many of my colleagues, I have been closely watching blockchain technology transform the industry by enabling global transactions and eliminating third parties. With FLIP, our digital currency and decentralized economy for transacting digital goods, blockchain is poised to shift the industry’s paradigm yet again. By creating a safe, cross-game platform for buying, selling and trading digital goods, we’re giving gamers ownership of their hard-earned items and creating a new revenue stream for publishers, who will receive a commission for every transaction. Publishers are vital to the success of this solution. Without incentivizing them to move to the blockchain for a win-win for all, value will remain forever locked in a game–and uncapped profit opportunities untapped.

In an industry where digital gaming is already generating $94.4 billion in annual revenue, the selling of in-game goods is a trillion-dollar opportunity. And like the best innovations, it embodies the values of blockchain: transparency, global connectivity and a win-win for everyone in the ecosystem.


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JT Nguyen, CEO and Co-Founder of Gameflip, is a successful serial entrepreneur with a proven track record. He has over 15 years of experience building and managing complex businesses, including 10 years in the gaming industry. Prior to Gameflip, JT served as COO of Aeria Games, a global publisher and developer of free-to-play games, growing the company from 10 employees to over 300 worldwide, overseeing operations in the U.S., Germany, and Brazil. Under JT’s leadership, Aeria Games’ annual revenue run rate reached $110 million, and the company was ultimately sold to ProSiebenSat.1, a German media conglomerate.

Prior to Aeria Games, JT’s other experiences cut across multiple industries. Among other things, he has served as operations strategy consultant in the finance industry at HSBC, software engineer in the retail industry at an early stage eCommerce startup, and RF hardware engineer in the mobile industry at Motorola. JT obtained his MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management and his MS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He obtained his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University Illinois at Urbana Champaign where he graduated first in his class.




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